Foundation

Kansas U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis – Greg Orman

Total Net Spending Agenda: $4.794 billion

 

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: Unknown

A. Relax Regulations in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:

“… [W]e need to relax the Dodd-Frank regulations that relate to community banks and region banks.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (11:10)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: A 2013 report from the American Enterprise Institute details the way community and regional banks have been adversely impacted under Dodd-Frank regulations.

http://www.aei.org/files/2013/05/06/-the-impact-of-doddfrank-on-community-banks_164334553537.pdf

According to a statement made on March 30, 2011 by Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act could reduce federal spending by as much as $21.5 billion over the first five years. A more recent cost estimate is not available. However, the extent to which the easing of regulations on community and region banks would reduce administrative costs is unclear.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12120/03-29-Dodd-Frank.pdf

B. Cut Regulations:

“I’ve also said that we need to review every regulation once every ten years and submit it back to Congress for an up or down vote. … [I]f we are going to regulate business, we need to do it much more efficiently. … I think that we can do a far better job of going ahead and consolidating [regulatory entities] so that it’s not so intrusive.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (11:30, 36:50)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 309 (113th Congress), the Regulatory Sunset and Review Act of 2013. The bill would require periodic review and sunset of major regulations by federal agencies. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

Education, Science, and Research: $930 million

A. Ensure College Students’ Financial Security:

“To remain competitive in the global marketplace, we need to keep college education affordable for the middle class. We need to reform the federal student loan system to ensure colleges and universities are more accountable for student outcomes.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Education)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1873 (113th Congress), the Protect Student Borrowers Act of 2013. The bill would require colleges to pay a penalty to the government if their students default on a certain percentage of their federal loans, creating a disincentive for colleges to raise tuition and fees beyond a level at which borrowers could pay them back in a timely manner. A cost estimate is not currently available.

B. Expand Access to Vocational Education:

“By encouraging innovation in our public schools, particularly around earlier access to vocational education options, our public schools can be segmented in such a way to deliver a more customized, high quality educational experience. Building on that earlier vocational training through a public/private partnership to develop apprenticeship programs will accelerate the productivity of these highly skilled workers.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Job Creation - Innovation)

            Cost: $930 million (first-year cost).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1370 (113th Congress), the Promoting Innovations to 21st Century Careers Act. The bill would award federal grants to state and local apprenticeship programs for graduating high school students entering high-skill careers. The text of the bill authorizes the spending.

 

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: Unknown

A. Assist in Agricultural Innovation:

“Bringing private sector capital to [farmers’ innovative ideas] could lead to an economic boom in our agricultural communities. As a United States Senator, I would also make it my personal mission to help the agricultural community capitalize on the innovation they demonstrate daily.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Agricultural Policy)

Cost: Unknown.

            Note: It is unclear from his statement what specific policies Mr. Orman would support.

According to the FY 2015 Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan: U.S. Department of Agriculture, page 92, the Department requested $75 million for each of the next five years for three new innovation institutes. They are multidisciplinary centers that focus on emerging challenges to agriculture and are funded by public-private partnerships. The three proposed centers would focus on pollination, bio-manufacturing and bio-products development, and anti-microbial resistance research.

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY15budsum.pdf

B. Promote Water Conservation:

“… I also think that we need to look at the Farm Bill and make sure that we’re not inadvertently discouraging the planting of low-water intensity crops. … I think we need to make sure that our federal farm programs encourage water conservation so that we can preserve that resource for western Kansas.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?321452-1/kansas-senate-debate (26:30)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear what policies Mr. Orman would support in order to promote water conservation.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1441 (113th Congress), the Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act of 2013. The bill would permit non-profit mutual ditch and irrigation companies to receive other sources of permitted funding without the risk of losing non-profit status. S. 1441 is a regulatory measure that would change revenues but would likely not affect spending.

C. Make Wind Energy More Viable:

“I believe we can have [an] energy renaissance right here in Kansas if we continue to support policies that make wind energy viable in this country. And so, what I’ve talked about is, we need to look at things like large-scale utility storage for energy, so that we can turn wind energy into a real resource and have an economic boom for Kansas.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (26:15)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $99 million in FY 2014 on wind energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. Approximately 13 bills related to wind energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress, but it is unclear from his statement whether Mr. Orman would support any of those particular proposals.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf

D. Promote Oil and Gas Development:

“I believe that we need to support continued oil and gas development.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (26:40)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear from his statement how Mr. Orman would change current petroleum-related spending. The federal government currently provides a range of programs to develop domestic oil and gas reserves, including offshore and onshore leasing, permitting, research programs and funding, and tax provisions.

E. Promote Alternative Fuels for Vehicles:

“I think that we need to look at promoting fuels like CNG and LNG and electric vehicles, which when you look at the electric grid in Kansas City, there’s lots of excess energy that we can use to power those vehicles at night.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (26:43)

Cost: Unknown.

Note:

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Unknown. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1364 (113th Congress), the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act. The bill would provide tax credits to incentivize the use of natural gas-powered vehicles. A cost estimate is currently not available.
  • Electric Vehicles: Unknown. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 5513 (113th Congress), the E-car Act. The bill would offer tax credits for property used to recharge electric vehicles. A cost estimate is currently not available.
  • Research and Development: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1027 (113th Congress), the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2013. The bill would authorize funding for research, development, demonstration, and commercial activities for low- or no-emission vehicles. NTUF scored the bill as a $1.4 billion five-year cost, based on a CBO cost estimate from the previous Congress.
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/s734.pdf

In 2013, the Congressional Research Service released a report that details several existing programs administered by the federal government to incentivize production and development of alternative fuel vehicles. It is unclear whether or not Mr. Orman would support amending them in any way.

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42566.pdf

 

Government Reform: $2 million

A. End Congressional Pensions:

“My view is pretty simple: Congress isn’t a career, and Members shouldn’t get retirement benefits that aren’t generally available to every American. … If elected I will decline my congressional pension and sponsor legislation to abolish pensions for Members of Congress.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/congressional_reform

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: According to a June 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service, there were a total of 617 retired Members of Congress receiving federal pensions as of October 31, 2013, at a total annual cost of $36.8 million. However, Congress would be unable to retroactively abolish existing pensions for Members. There will be savings going forward as the benefit is no longer offered to incoming lawmakers, but a cost estimate is not currently available.

http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%270E%2C*PLC8%22%40%20%20%0A

B. Enact a Constitutional Amendment Creating Term Limits:

“If elected I will propose a constitutional amendment to limit service in the U.S. Congress to 12 years. In addition, I will lead by example and pledge to serve no more than two terms in the Senate.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/congressional_reform

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.J.Res. 41 (113th Congress), a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve. The resolution would limit Representatives to three terms of service and Senators to two terms of service. It is possible that by limiting Congressional terms, federal pension costs for current Members of Congress (who would, assuming enactment of Orman’s proposal to abolish Congressional pensions (above) still retain their existing pensions) would decrease over time as fewer legislators become eligible for retirement benefits. A cost estimate is currently not available.

C. Simplify the Tax Code:

“We need to take a comprehensive look at our tax code and drastically simplify it. … We need to keep the current progressive tax system, but make it simple enough so that Americans can do their own taxes and every American pays some amount in taxes. That way we can lower overall rates, reduce the regulatory and compliance burden on American citizens and companies, but still have the revenue we need to defend our nation and our national interests, take care of our most vulnerable, and invest in the next generation of Americans by finding a path toward sustainable, responsible economic growth and new jobs.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Taxes)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unknown what tax reform package Mr. Orman would support.

Congressman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) “Tax Reform Act of 2014” would implement a number of reforms that would simplify the Tax Code while preserving its current progressive structure. It would cut the number of individual income tax brackets from seven to two and pare back the number of individual credits (including refundable credits that are scored as changes in outlays) while expanding the eligibility for the remaining deductions. It would also institute a territorial corporate tax system, exempting 95 percent of foreign income from domestic taxation. Though mostly a revenue-related measure, the “Act” also would affect spending in a number of ways:

  • Simplify the Tax Code: -$13.4 billion (-$67 billion over five years). According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the Camp proposal’s tax reforms could reduce spending by a net $67 billion over five years, from 2014-2018. The bulk of savings would come from a modification of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is “refundable” (i.e., in excess of actual tax liability). This refundable portion is counted as a spending item.
  • http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/jct_revenue_estimate__jcx_20_14__022614.pdf
  • Reduce the IRS Budget: Unknown. Not included in the JCT estimate is a projection of spending cuts resulting from decreases in IRS enforcement and investigations. As the Tax Code would be streamlined, the agency would require less enforcement and taxpayer assistance funding. A savings estimate of this item is not currently available.
  • Other Spending Changes: The proposal also includes approximately $126.5 billion that would be spent on highway and infrastructure improvements over eight years. However, Mr. Orman has not specified whether or not he would support this provision.
  • http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/detail/taxpayers-tab-issue-13-5#Current_Tax_System
  • http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ways_and_means_section_by_section

D. Reform Federal Accounting Standards:

“We need to require the federal government to report expenses and revenue by the same strict accounting standards now required of all major companies.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Government Spending)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: In May, 2014, the President signed S. 994 (113th Congress), the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2014, into law. The bill extends the authorization of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board for continued fiscal oversight and increases financial reporting requirements of federal agencies, which would then be made public through the USASpending.gov website. CBO scored the bill as a $300 million five-year increase. However, it is unclear how Mr. Orman would further increase fiscal transparency or reform federal accounting standards.           

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/44933-s994_0.pdf

E. Enact Stricter Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements:

“Citizens United is now the law of the land, but that doesn’t mean we should accept unlimited donations made in secret. All political spending should be subject to the same rigorous disclosure requirements made of candidates for federal office, thereby allowing voters to make informed decisions about candidates.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Supreme Court)

“Any group that spends more than $5,000 to elect or defeat a candidate in a federal election should be required to file with the FEC within 24 hours of spending near an election, just as regulated outside groups are required to today. Whether it is a labor union, a (c)4 organization, or direct spending by a corporation or individual, the public has a right to know who is spending money to influence our elections. In addition, they should be required to file regular reports with the FEC just like parties and PACs are required to today. It is important that charitable giving be kept private, but that cannot be used as an excuse to hide donations meant to influence an election as is done today.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/campaign_finance_reform

“I will support legislation that requires the following:

  • Federal lobbyists should have to report every single donation they played a part in, regardless of the amount
  • State lobbyists and unregistered employees of firms that employ lobbyists should have the same requirements when giving to federal candidates
  • Campaigns should have to report all bundling no matter the source.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Campaign Finance - Require Full Disclosure of Bundling)

“If a company decides to peruse [sic] a government contract the company and its lobbyist should be prohibited from donating money to federal candidates.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/campaign_finance_reform

Cost: $2 million ($10 million over five years) (partial estimate).

Source:

  • Donation Disclosures: $2 million ($10 million over five years). S. 2516 (113th Congress), the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act of 2014, would require additional reporting related to campaign spending. A CBO cost estimate is available for a previous House version. Mr. Orman has called for a $5,000 contribution reporting threshold whereas S. 2516 would require disclosures for donations totaling $10,000. The difference would likely not significantly alter the cost of the measure.
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/115xx/doc11533/hr5175.pdf
  • Lobbyist Donation Disclosures: Unknown. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 2754 (113th Congress), the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2014. The bill would redefine a registered lobbyist as someone making two or more lobbying contacts for one client over a two-year period, regardless their total time spent on that client. The current minimum is a three-month period. Currently serving federal candidates would be banned from soliciting campaign contributions from registered lobbyists while their chamber is in session. Lobbyists would also be prohibited from bundling large contributions. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

Health Care: Unknown

A. Incentivize Quality Health Care:

“It’s clear that with the Affordable Care Act the Congress simply expanded a broken system, one that rewards providers for more tests and procedures rather than for better outcomes for individuals. We have to change that way of thinking, alter the incentives to providers to reward quality not quantity of care, and ensure that our government as the largest purchaser of healthcare in the country is prudent with the dollars it spends.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Healthcare)

Cost: Unknown.

Note:  The Affordable Care Act established new medical payment systems, including Accountable Care Organizations, that are intended to reward health care providers for reducing costs while maintaining quality. It is unclear from Mr. Orman’s statement how he would alter the Affordable Care Act or other federal health care programs to achieve “better outcomes.”

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2013/07/19/doctors-should-be-rewarded-for-quality-care-not-for-cutting-corners/

A related proposal has been included in legislation that would replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (the so-called “Doc Fix”) with a new system and a new, lower growth formula. The most recent version of this has been introduced in the form of S. 2157 (113th Congress), the Commonsense Medicare SGR Repeal and Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2014. The bill would revise and consolidate components of three existing performance incentive programs into a merit-based incentive payment. CBO has scored the entire bill as a $66.5 billion increase over five years. In its analysis of S. 2000, which included similar language, CBO specified that the incentive performance reforms would increase Medicare spending by approximately $6 billion through 2024.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/s2157.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/s2000.pdf

 

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $3.862 billion

A. Improve Documentation of Aliens:

“… [O]ur policy must also be fair to taxpayers. The 11 million undocumented individuals in America should be required to register with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by a certain date, pay a fine or perform community service as an acknowledgment that they’ve broken the law, hold down a job, pay taxes, and obey our laws, and ultimately, at that point, if they want to get in line and apply for citizenship, they should be able to do so. Once we’ve done that, we should fully implement the E-Verify system and hold employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers who have not registered with ICE.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Illegal Immigration)

            Cost: $162 million ($808 million over five years) (partial estimate).

Source: CBO cost estimates for S. 744 (113th Congress), the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

Note:

  • Employment Verification: $78 million ($390 million over five years). S. 744 would establish a mandatory replacement to the current voluntary E-Verify system, which cross-references employee-provided data with digital records from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify eligibility.
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/s744.pdf
  • Process Applications: $84 million ($418 million over five years). S. 744 would also authorize additional appropriations for “several activities to assist people affected by the bill and to manage the processing of immigration applications.”
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s744aspassed.pdf

Additional costs would be associated with identifying and processing immigration offenders and appeals, which Mr. Orman appears to support before allowing application for citizenship. The CBO’s estimate for S. 744 as reported by the Senate projects discretionary costs for these activities, which would be carried out primarily by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, totaling $11.9 billion over the first five years. However, it is unclear which of these provisions Mr. Orman might support based on his statement.

The cost of any activities Mr. Orman might support could also be offset to some degree.

The bill would authorize the DHS to collect and use fees in order to offset discretionary spending related to enforcement, like those noted above. CBO counts these fees as offsetting receipts, or credits against spending, and estimates they would total $4.176 billion over five years. Thus, the total cost of Mr. Orman’s immigration proposal would be conditional upon the extent to which he would support all of the discretionary enforcement measures included in S. 744.

B. Strengthen Border Security:

“For us to deal with our current immigration system, we have to adopt a policy that’s tough, practical and fair. By tough, I mean we need to secure our borders. It’s something that we’ve been working on, but we’re not there yet. We’ve dramatically increased the number of security agents that we have on the border over the last 10 years – from roughly 10,500 agents in 2004 when the Department of Homeland Security was formed to more than 21,000 today. We need to continue the commitment to the number of agents there. We also need to re-evaluate the use of technology at the border and determine whether or not recent advances in technology can help us tighten our borders.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Illegal Immigration)

“We need to revisit some of the technology projects that we tried ten years ago that didn’t seem to work. I think that as technology has advanced that there’s a more likelihood that they will be successful. And then we need to use that to secure the border.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk (20:00)

Cost: $3.7 billion ($18.4 billion over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 744 (113th Congress), the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The bill would streamline and overhaul costs for the immigration system and increase border security and infrastructure. Using the CBO estimate, NTUF found that the bill would allocate additional funding for border-related administrative costs, double the number of Border Patrol agents (including their benefits, training, and forgiveness of student loans), and adjust fees and penalties that would offset some spending. The border security provisions of S. 744 would total $18.4 billion over the first five years. This figure does not include the immigration-related spending in the bill.

  http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s744aspassed.pdf

In 2006, DHS began expansion of the Secure Border Initiative-network program, which relied on motion sensors, infrared imaging, and unmanned drone aircraft to create a so-called “virtual fence” at the border. That program was expected to cost about $7 billion when it was proposed, but was ultimately canceled in 2011 after multiple delays and cost overruns. The extent to which Mr. Orman would support funding similar technologies in the future is unclear from his statements.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/us/politics/15fence.html?_r=0

 

National Security and International Relations: Unknown

A. Prevent Iran from Pursuing Nuclear Weapons

“Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon under any circumstances and all options must be on the table to deal with this possibility. Given Iran’s stated intentions and the way that they’ve behaved in the past, we need to do everything in our power to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. … Any agreement with Iran must ensure that the country will never be able to construct a nuclear weapon.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Foreign Policy)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how such a military strategy would impact federal spending.

B. Strengthen Economic and Diplomatic Cooperation with Israel:

“Israel is one of America’s key allies and in the Senate I will work to strengthen our bond with Israel and increase economic and diplomatic cooperation.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Foreign Policy)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Due to lack of specificity in Mr. Orman’s statement, it is unclear which policies he would pursue in order to “increase economic and diplomatic cooperation” with Israel. Generally, U.S. aid to Israel is provided in the form of military assistance. In FY 2014, the United States provided $3.1 billion to Israel to finance military purchases plus an additional $504 million in funding for anti-rocket defense systems.

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

C. Address Sequestration Spending Caps:

“… Sequester is a problem. … I agree, it’s a real problem when it comes to our military. … [I]t’s a huge problem that needs to be addressed.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?321452-1/kansas-senate-debate (30:50)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how Mr. Orman would address the spending caps currently in place, whether by partially or completely increasing the caps or reallocating existing funding within the Department of Defense.

The Budget Control Act of 2011(BCA) set spending caps for each year through FY 2021 and established Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – known as the “Super Committee” – to draw up a plan to cut $1.5 trillion from the deficit over ten years. The failure of the Representatives and Senators on the Committee to agree on a package  triggered $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board cuts – known as sequestration – over the next ten years:  If annual spending set in the budget by Congress and the President exceed the BCA’s caps,  sequester cuts will kick in for most discretionary and some mandatory spending.

According to CBO data, repealing the military portion of sequestration for Fiscal Years 2015 through 2019 would increase expenditures by $261 billion. (The figure is based on annual budget authority and may not exactly mirror actual outlay reductions, which sometimes occur over multiple years.)

Congress has already taken action to reduce the impact of the caps and cuts set in the BCA. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 delayed the effective date of the first round of sequestration in 2013 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 cancelled the sequestration for 2014 and 2015 and also increased the BCA’s caps in those years. Moreover, according to CBO, annual budgetary limits on defense are adjusted for authority designated as emergency spending and for “overseas contingency operations, such as military activities in Afghanistan.” In 2014, these designations adjusted the defense cap by nearly $86 billion.

http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/detail/taxpayers-tab-issue-41-2-2

http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%270E%2C*QLK9%23P++%0A

D. Support Anti-Terrorism Strategies in Iraq:

“I think that we need to do everything in our power to make sure that ISIS cannot stand. So, in terms of airstrikes, absolutely [I agree with the President’s strategy]. In terms of providing military advice and counsel to the Iraqis, I think that is absolutely necessary. And I think that we’re going to have to take further measures to be able to address ISIS. One of the things that we need to consider here is that we don’t have a properly functioning Iraqi government and ultimately to solve the problem in that region, they are going to have to need a properly functioning Iraqi government, and that’s probably, at the end of the day, the biggest single issue that we have to deal with if we’re going to be able to deal with the ISIS threat.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?321452-1/kansas-senate-debate (33:50)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how Mr. Orman would adjust current anti-terrorism strategies and whether doing so would require additional military resources.

H.J.Res. 124, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, was signed into law in September, 2014. The resolution provides appropriations to federal agencies until December 11, 2014 and authorizes assistance and coordination to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition who are fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the Assad regime. Overseas Contingency Operations, a spending category that is supposedly dedicated to fighting the Global War on Terror and is separate from the regular Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State budgets, will spend $44.8 billion. Overall, CBO estimates that the resolution will spend $1.2 trillion but did not specify how much would be spent toward combating ISIS. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/hjres124_0.pdf

 

Veterans: Unknown

A. Expedite Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Processing of Health Care Benefits:

“More than 630,000 veterans are waiting for care today because we never fully anticipated the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We obviously must do more for these veterans today and do a far better job in anticipating the needs of returning troops before future engagements.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Foreign Policy)

“We should restructure the VA rules to allow veterans in rural areas or those who have had to wait months for care to receive treatment at critical access facilities, which would benefit financially while providing critical care to those in need. … Long-term, we must fundamentally change the way the Department of Veterans Affairs does business and bring accountability to the VA bureaucracy. We must ensure that all veterans receive care now and ensure that our commitment to veterans last long after the last bullet is fired.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Veterans’ Affairs)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: The omnibus appropriations bill passed in January, 2014, included an authorization of $294 million to help the VA reduce the claims backlog, upgrade information technology systems, and increase employee training.

http://www.vetsfirst.org/vas-fy-2014-funding-includes-help-for-claims-backlog/

In August, 2014, H.R. 3230, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 was signed into law. The bill authorized staff increases at the VA, expansion of new and existing medical facilities, private medical care for some veterans, and in-state tuition using Post-9/11 GI Bill funds for qualifying veterans. CBO estimated that H.R. 3230 would increase spending by a net of $12.6 billion over five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr3230Conference.pdf

Several other related bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress, including H.R. 4810, the Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014 (for which CBO could only offer a partial cost estimate of $620 million over five years). However, it is unclear which (if any) of these specific policies Mr. Orman would support.

http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/detail/taxpayers-tab-issue-24-4

 

Miscellaneous: Unknown

A. Reform Social Safety Net Programs:

“… [W]hile it’s harder than ever for the average American to get ahead, it’s also paradoxically easy to do nothing with your life. I think that we do need to reform the social safety net and look at those programs that are being abused and try to figure out a real simple question: are they promoting upward mobility and accountability or are they promoting complacency and dependency? And I agree that the ones that are promoting complacency and dependency need to be changed.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?321452-1/kansas-senate-debate (28:42)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear from Mr. Orman’s statement which social insurance or welfare programs he would modify if elected. While reducing waste, fraud, and abuse related to federal entitlement and welfare programs could result in significant savings, achieving those reductions might also require additional spending and regulatory burdens.

B. Restrict Firearm Purchases at Gun Shows:

“The idea that those 700,000 people could simply head to a gun show and buy a firearm without the same background scrutiny doesn’t make sense to me. While there are likely other illegal ways for criminals to get firearms, we shouldn’t make it easy for a violent offender or a mentally ill individual to get a gun.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (The Second Amendment)

“I would be open to addressing the gun show loophole.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?321452-1/kansas-senate-debate (46:00)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 22 (113th Congress), the Gun Show Background Check Act of 2013. The bill would establish background check procedures for gun shows. A cost estimate is currently not available. It is unclear whether the bill’s enactment would result in increased administrative costs for the federal government.

C. Prevent Improper Social Security Disability Payments:

“I think that the Social Security Disability Program is an important program. I think we need to protect it. But right now, I think it’s being abused and I think that one of the ways that we can protect the longevity of Social Security is to make sure those other components of the program, like the disability program, are being used properly.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (28:40)

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is possible that efforts to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse across the federal government would result in significant savings, but it would also probably require an upfront budgetary increase for program integrity efforts. Based on the information available, NTUF is unable to estimate the level of resources that Mr. Orman would dedicate to such efforts; nor is NTUF able to determine with a reasonable degree of precision what level of savings those investments might generate.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4053 (112th Congress), the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act. The bill would intensify efforts to identify, prevent, and recover payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse within federal spending. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4053 would have no significant cost over the next five years because it would codify several reforms already initiated by the Executive Branch, and the estimate does not mention possible savings. The bill was signed into law in January, 2013. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr4053.pdf

Legislation to build on current law has been introduced in the form of S. 1360 (113th Congress), the Improper Payments Agency Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2014. The bill would require more coordination between federal benefits programs on data related to deceased beneficiaries. CBO found that the bill would not significantly increase spending.

  http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/s1360_0.pdf

 

Fiscal Notes:

“Simplifying the corporate tax code by eliminating the myriad of loopholes, deductions, and credits will simplify tax compliance and lower the overall tax related burden for U.S. companies. At the same time, it will allow us to lower the overall corporate tax rate without reducing the revenues to the U.S. Treasury.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Job Creation - Innovation)

“Modifying our system for H1B visas to allow high achievers to stay in America will only increase innovation and job creation potential.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Job Creation - Innovation)

“I support a Constitutional amendment to limit Congressional service to 12 years and pledge to serve no longer than 12 years if elected. Serving in Congress should not be a career.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Term Limits)

“Mr. Orman’s four-point plan, titled ‘The Orman Plan for Congressional Reform,” includes detailed provisions for … banning lobbying by former members of Congress … .”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/independent_u_s_senate_candidate_greg_orman_releases_congressional_reform_plan_embarks_on_bus_tour

“For people who are younger [than 55 right now], and in particularly for people who earn more money, I believe it makes sense to say that we ultimately should get our Social Security checks a little later.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SV_3G7VZk#t=10 (28:05)

“We need to bring a new level of performance and accountability to federal bureaucracies. While federal employees who are falling short should be given the opportunity to improve their job performance, employees who consistently under perform should be let go.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Accountability)

Note: The Office of Personnel Management operates a performance management policy to improve “organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.” It is unclear what specific changes Mr. Orman would support or whether or not federal spending would change. He has not indicated that positions left vacant by those not meeting the higher standards would remain unfilled or if new hiring would occur.

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/overview-history/

“We should also move to a territorial tax system, which would eliminate the incentive for companies to relocate overseas or otherwise become foreign companies. It would also allow a number of U.S. companies to bring profits they earn overseas back to the United States and invest it here to create new jobs and opportunities for Americans.”

http://www.ormanforsenate.com/issues (Taxes)